Friday, June 29, 2012

Tres Buntes


When Manny Pacquiao was defeated by Bradley, we had a triple baby shower for our friends.  We didn’t have a special program prepared just gift giving.

My lovely preggy friends
I love those diaper cakes Jose gave them!

The gender of Weng's baby is not yet identified. Well, it's not yet 100% sure that it's a girl when we had this baby shower for her. While Janice wanted to keep the gender a surprise. Her OB already knows the gender but they want to find out when she finally gives birth. Although they haven't thought of a boy's name and only considered a girl's name (the're eldest is a boy). Charline is definitely getting a boy baby dragon!


My failsafe gift during baby showers - cute onesies! I had a hard time finding gender neutral designs!
For something special, we asked the daddies to give gifts to the mommies. I’ve asked them to give that one gift that their spouses have been meaning to buy but haven’t bought it themselves.


All three of them were happy with what they got.
And then for Mommy Charline, who is going to be a first time mom we gave her a list of tips. Will separately blog about I did that.


Reading one of the 100 tips we gave her
We had just enough time for eating, gift giving, sharing stories and minding the kiddos that day.


Yummy yummy
Ang kulit lang nilang 2! They were born two weeks apart


Playing with anything they can find
I love group photos
Fun Sunday spent with friends.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Time Out

We're trying our best to raise Miya as a good kid. I sometimes catch my subconscious me telling myself not to give in to every single thing she wants. Last night was the first time we told her to take a "time-out" and asked her to stand on one "corner." She got gigil and bit my lower lip and it hurt like hell. So I told her she's having a time-out because we wanted to make a point that she should not bite other people because this will hurt them.

My good girl* 
So she stood in that little corner of her while we (the adults) are looking at each other trying to hide our smiles. I thought of asking her to stand still because I remember a friend who told me that this was a very effective way of "punishment" on her daughter who like Miya can not stand still for a brief moment. Well, after a minute maybe I thought I should document this and snapped this photo from my phone. Miya heard the clicking sound and figured out the time-out was over hahaha! She came to me with a big smile and I think she knew we were just making fun of her. This morning while we're having our Tuesday date, hubby said we should try this again next time so she'll know that we're serious. I told him we should also not confuse our daughter because Miya probably thought she was just playing with me because she learned this biting thing when her father is roughhousing with her. He even taught her to "bite his nose" - you know, that playful thing you do when you act like you're going to bite but really don't do it. Haaay! Being a parent is hard!


*Note to self: I should cut her bangs again!

Rock of Ages


For Father’s Day, Joema and I went on a movie date. We watched Rock of Ages. I’m so glad we both enjoyed the movie. At the beginning of the movie, I worried that I might not enjoy it because I’m not really a heavy metal kind of girl. I only went into that heavy metal phase because my crush during 1st year HS was so into Guns and Roses so I learned some of their songs and pretended I rock, too! LOL

Well, this movie was not only about rock (it was mostly) but it’s also about other 80s music genre (including boy bands!). It had the right amount of love story, has funny comic scenes and well, Tom Cruise was hot! I thought he did the role justice. I’m not really a fan of his, I think he only looks good in the camera but after doing Tropic Thunder and then this, I think he really wants to prove that he can act. And well, he convinced me.

There are a lot of memorable scenes for me. One of them is Catherine Zeta-Jones singing and dancing to “Hit me with your best shot.”  Catherine plays this goody goody wife of a political candidate who wants to bring down Stacee Jaxx. I found it funny that even with the dancing on that scene, they showed how stiff she was.

Go, watch the movie if it’s still being shown in local cinemas. It’s a feel good movie! And you’ll be singing when you go out of the movie house. 

Source

Monday, June 25, 2012

Miya Calls Me Mom-meh (and Other Updates)


Remember when I told you how Miya calls me (#8 in the list)? Well, last night she finally called me “Mommy”. Well she says it like “Mom-meh” hahaha! But that’s okay. She can say Mama but she knows me as Mommy really (refer to #10  of my previous list). As I've mentioned, she learned to call me Mama before but that didn't stick. 

She learned some new things, too. She has a small book that contains first words, she can identify in real life the ball, chair, towel, shoes, shorts and moon. She can mimic a gorilla, dog, elephant and squirrel. She can say bird (boird like Mickey Rourke's character in IronMan 2), trees (tees), daddy (dah-deh), pizza(its-ah), ball(bol), papaya (papa), tuta(tuta), baba (baba), wala (ala), moon (moo), ate (a-teh), ipis (pisss), grapes (gehps).

She knows how to "jog". When we ask her to jog, she runs in place with little cute steps. So cute!

She swerves her hands when we talk about cars. This is influenced by our watching F1 every single race.

I really should  enroll her again in Gymboree. She has never tired of watching her Gymboree videos in my phone. she sings "ha-ha" when she wants to view the first view and does the horsey thing, tapping her hands on our bed if she wants to watch the second video.

The crying and hitting phase has started. We are so worried she's going to be a bratinella. She cries when she doesn't get her way and resort to hitting us when we talk to her. Joema even joked earlier today if this already the terrible two's! And she's only 16months old! If I have not read in Babycenter that this is a phase common her age, I would be really really worried. I hope she grows up to be a good kid.   

Friday, June 22, 2012

Summer Outing in Punta Fuego


As I mentioned here, for our annual summer outing in the office, we went to Punta Fuego. Joema and Miya came along. We left Manila around 9:30 and was at Tagaytay around 11. We did not stop for lunch because Miya fell asleep in the car at that time. We didn’t want to wake her up so we continued with the journey. We arrived in Punta Fuego around 1pm and had lunch before checking in.

Miya playing with my officemate's iTouch
Photo above was taken during lunch time. While waiting for food, Miya and I went to my officemates’ table. Around this time, Joema wasn’t feeling that well already. He actually already took some meds before we left the house but his tooth was already aching again by the time we arrived. He only ate soup for lunch. Poor boy! After lunch, we checked in and we were given a suite instead of the casita only to find out later on that we should have taken a casita because it’s much bigger! Next time, we’ll get the casita! We were first checked into this suite. 

Twin sharing and not king sized bed
Outside the suite above was the infinity pool
But since it’s a twin sharing setup we asked to be moved to a suite with a king sized bed so we transferred to this. 

Queen sized bed. Look at Miya playing with the phone already.
I know it’s not a king sized bed but I don’t want to hassle the people at reception again, so we just settled in. I must say, Punta Fuego’s service is top-notch. They did not refuse my request to be transferred to another suite and just looked for an available suite for us. Unfortunately, it was raining hard at the time we transferred suites and we had to walk through rain to go from one suite to another. Hassle lang but it’s okay. We also asked for some pain reliever for Joema’s toothache and they gave it to us after consulting their in-house nurse.

Si Malakas at si Maganda - proof that Joema was indeed with us hehe

It rained the whole day so we holed up in our suite and even ate dinner there. The whole night Joema was not able to sleep because of his toothache. When I woke up around 4:30am he was banging his head on the bed and couldn’t take the pain anymore. I told him he should have told me and we could have asked the nurse to give us meds again the night before. But anyway, at the ungodly hour I phoned in the reception and again asked for medicines which the nurse personally delivered to us. Service was truly impeccable! Joema was able to sleep after that. So when Miya woke up later in the morning, it was just her and me who ventured out of our suite and headed to breakfast. I knew my officemates will be there and I wanted to find out what their plans were. After eating breakfast, we went back to our suite to check up on Joema if he wanted to eat but he was just getting sleep then so I told him to just sleep and Miya and I will go swimming with my officemates. I didn’t want to bother him anymore because he still has to drive us back home to Manila later that day. This is one of the reasons we need to go back to Punta Fuego – Joema wasn’t able to get out of our suite the whole time we were there!

Anyways, enough stories let me share with you our photos!

Passed by the infinity pool on the way to breakfast

My water baby is ready!

Punta Fuego is amazing! :)
Again, enjoying the pool!
I can't say it enough, Miya LOVES the water!
Weeee!!!
We transferred to the lower beach after the infinity pool

She didn't like the beach at first but after seeing another little kid enjoying and after feeling the waves I think she liked it!
We transferred to the nearby pool almost too soon!
But she enjoyed it there, as well! :)

With Daddy during check-out


Goodbye, Punta Fuego! Till we meet again!

Lunch at Army+Navy, Tagaytay

The loves of my life!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Yay! I won!

Remember this Mischmash's blog giveaway that I joined? With all these up for grabs?



Well, I only found out today that I've won! I can't believe my eyes when I saw this today when I opened blogger.


So I clicked on the link and what do you know, my eyes were not deceiving me!



Yehey! As I've said in my post, I've never really won anything online. So I'm really really happy about this. Plus this giveaway was meant for moms for Mother's Day so that was an extra bonus! Thanks so much for this wonderful giveaway, Mikka!

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Miya's Outing to Punta Fuego

For my last entry in this blog challenge (yey!), I want to give a sneak preview of our most recent out of town trip. I don't have enough time to make a fullblown post about this trip because I have so many photos to share! So this is just about my adorable daughter hehe.


For our annual summer outing here at the office, I chose to go to Punta Fuego. The other option was EDSA Shangri-la but we already went there last year so this was the clear choice!

As I mentioned a number of times in this blog, Miya loves the water. So this trip was a big hit to her! On the day we arrived, it was raining so hard. We didn’t have time to go swimming. We just stayed cooped up inside our room. Add to that, Joema was not feeling well because of a toothache. The next day, Sunday, the sun was out finally! Miya and I explored the resort without Joema. His toothache was so bad  he was only able to sleep by 4am. I didn’t bother him anymore because he had to drive on the way back to Manila, I let him get some sleep.

Miya was a hit with my officemates. She’s all smiles with them and she lets them carry her. Walang pinipili! Pwede ngang ma-kidnap itong anak ko! Here are some of her photos with my officemates.

Miya with Mommy's officemates


Day 30 of 30 (x2)

Friday, June 08, 2012

Tips for First Time Mommies

We have a triple baby shower on Sunday for our dear friends. Can you imagine, 3 pregnant women in our group! Amazing! All of them are going to have Dragon Babies! Well, the two mommies already have toddlers while one of them will be a first time mom. So we decided to give her something special on this day. All 4 of us who are already mommies gave 25 tips each to this first time mom. Thought it might be helpful to other moms out there. Here's the list:

From Mommy Janice:

        1)      Take a few days off before your due date and just relax and pamper yourself ---go to the spa and get a massage (kahit different treatments for different days), eat delicious food. So you’ll feel re-energized when you go into labor (very tiring), and when the baby is with you--- start na ng puyatan and pagod J
      2)      When the baby comes out, make the baby latch on you kagad, kahit for a few minutes. Tell your doctor and the nurses there beforehand that you want the baby to latch on you paglabas before they do the tests etc.  This is good to begin milk supply and super bonding kagad kayo.
      3)      Opt for rooming in instead of nursery for bonding time with your baby. They’re used to being sheltered in your womb, continue to give your baby comfort by being with your baby 24/7. Tsaka syempre, good for milk supply as well.
      4)      Don’t use wipes to clean your baby’s poo poo or wee wee for the first few months. Use cotton and water to avoid harsh chemicals and abrasions.
      5)      Always have music in your room/nursery. Babies feel calm when there’s music.   Also, sing to your baby to calm him down.  Always talk to your baby and avoid yelling or shouting in the room (kahit na coming from the tv and not from you). They sense these things kasi and will stress them out.
      6)      Savor the time with your baby even though you feel so tired na. They grow up so fast.
      7)      Don’t feel ‘depressed’ because of change in lifestyle and because of sleepless nights (only 2 hours of sleep at a time). Your body clock will adjust after a few weeks (3-4 weeks).  Also, ask for allan’s help all the time and have alone time for yourself.
      8)      Malunggay and clam soup are good for milk supply. Also, some pastries can be bought online which increase milk supply too http://www.mommytreats.ph/
      9)      Don’t let sick people (with cough or colds or fever, etc) near your baby. Super no-no yun, kahit relatives pa sila. Also, refrain from bringing your baby to crowded places until he has completed his 1st set of vaccines (around 6-9 months).
      10)   1st few days will be painful down below pala because of the cut.  I didn’t realize this or read about it, so got surprised to experience the pain.  Although Penny’s ob prescribed to her a stronger pain killer (sakin ponstan lang, dunno why, will ask my ob on my next visit J).  when I would sit down, I would sit on the breastfeeding pillow (u-shaped) , just like a toilet seat bowl 
      11)   I go for attachment parenting… always be there for your baby. Carry him when he needs comfort. Get a sling if you want, it also helps relieve your arm muscles in carrying him. He needs to feel secure at an early age.
      12)   At about 5-6 months (or even earlier so baby will get used to the habit), clean your baby’s gumline/teeth with lampin and water after feeding, especially before bedtime. Even before his teeth appear, this eliminates bacteria buildup.    
      13)   Avoid giving your baby candies or hard/chewy sweets until he’s able to brush his teeth properly.  
      14)   Visit the dentist at 1 year old so he’ll get used to the dentist’s chair and surroundings. Dentist will just talk to him and probably apply fluoride to his teeth. Then go every 6 months afterwards. This makes the baby not scared of the dentist since there’s no pain involved whenever his visits (no cavities yet).
      15)   Don’t buy so many shoes in the first few months. Their feet grow so fast and he doesn’t get to walk yet until he reaches 1 year old.   
      16)   Always talk to your baby, tell him made-up stories, read him books, sing to him. It increases his vocabulary and his imagination.
      17)   Don’t use pillows or comforters in the first few months and don’t let him lie on his stomach… this avoids Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
      18)   Go outside with your baby in the early morning and expose him to morning sun. It provides vitamin D and reduces risk of jaundice in newborns.
      19)   Choose a pedia who takes time to talk to you and your baby, who doesn’t rush you off, who promotes breastfeeding as well, and who gives her cellphone number to you.
      20)   Allow your baby to explore his surroundings.  Don’t get too protective when he starts to crawl and walk, just be always be there looking out for him in case he falls down or bumps into things.  Let him crawl on the floor, let him get dirty once in a while 
      21)   TV ---if you’ll allow him, let him watch videos that you buy (educational would be good or sesame street) instead of tv programs at an early stage. When he gets older, Disney Junior on tv will be ok as well. I recommend My Baby Can Talk video at about 10 months old---increases your baby’s vocabulary through signs/hand gestures.
      22)   Bring your baby to his grandparents, so he’ll get to know them.  Let him play with them.  Set up play dates (with us! J) so he’ll have interaction with other kids as well.
      23)   While still in hospital after giving birth, let the nurses bathe your baby and watch so you’ll learn how to do it.
      24)   Co-sleeping--- advisable to get a sleeper so he’s still beside you when he sleeps, easily accessible when time to breastfeed, but you won’t roll over and squish the baby.
      25)   if you have helper to wash laundry, cloth diapers during the day  (and regular diapers at night) are economical and good for your baby ---soft and no chemicals and environment friendly. Chino Pino brand is good, it’s shaped like a disposable diaper with Velcro, so easy to use.  You’ll use about 10-12 diapers in a day, so huge savings sya. We used cloth diapers on Stefan until he reached about 1.5 yrs old (nung di na kasya). You can buy diaper cover as well to put over the cloth diaper so wee wee wont leak.

From Mommy Penny:
1) Make time for some "me time". a few examples: take a long shower, log on to facebook, SLEEP, read a book, get a haircut..
2) You don't have to follow everyone's advice. every baby is different, what works for one baby doesn't necessarily work for yours.
3) Ask for your pedia's cellphone number
4) Whenever you’re exhausted, just remember: 'Motherhood is a choice you make everyday to put someone else's happiness an well-being ahead of your own.'
5) Take lots and lots of pictures of the baby, he will grow up so fast.
6) Stock up on alcohol and hand sanitizers, it's important to keep your hands clean at all times
7) Before going back to work, go shopping for post-maternity clothes. Don't expect to fit into your pre-maternity clothes until after some months. And don't take offense if someone mistakes you for still being pregnant :) it happens to most moms
8) Go to Mothercare for super cute baby outfits! but dont buy too many baby clothes because your baby will outgrow them quickly
9) Download helpful iphone/ipad apps to help you keep track of baby's feeding schedule, vaccines, milestones, etc. One example is Total Baby
10) During your maternity leave it's ok to leave your baby at home once in a while to go out with allan or friends. As long as you have someone you can trust to take care of the baby, don’t feel guilty.
11) Listen to classical music, it helps to calm down baby
12) It's good to be well prepared to help give you the confidence to take care of your baby. Learn the proper way of breastfeeding, giving baby a bath, changing baby's diaper, etc. The nurse at the hospital will teach you the bathing and diaper changing techniques. But for breastfeeding, it's advisable to enroll in a class (or read cris' tips!)
13) Expect to be very sleep deprived the first few weeks as baby will be feeding every 1-3 hours (depending on baby). As much as possible try to sleep whenever baby is sleeping
14) Encourage Allan to also help in taking care of the baby
15) Try skin to skin contact to help soothe baby
16) Limit baby's exposure to crowded public places until he completes the important vaccines. Check with your pedia.
17) Baby boys usually get toys for gifts so limit buying them yourself
18) Learn to trust your maternal instinct
19) Take vitamin c, drink lots of water, wash your hands frequently. Must be extra careful not to get sick.
20) Don’t worry too much about the household chores. Ask help from your relatives/hire a maid to get these done. Your first priority is baby.
21) Read mommy blogs on the internet for ideas and inspiration
22) Spend several times a day just staring, smiling and talking to baby. He loves hearing your voice and seeing your face.
23) Download your favorite tv series so you have something to watch while breastfeeding baby.
24) Buy several breastfeeding-friendly tops for easy access
25) Babies are very sensitive to their environment, try to always stay calm and relaxed whenever you’re around baby

From Mommy Weng:
1. Breastfeed! Breastfeed your baby as long as you can. My professor in college told the class. "Those" were not given by God for anything else but to breastfeed.
2. Talk to your baby even if it seems that he does not understand anything.
3. When he starts (nearly 1 yr old) recognizing objects, read to him books and identify the objects/animals/etc. Next time, ask him to point to the objects. You'll be surprise how retentive his memory. 
4. Get a pedia that explains even the small details. Someone that also answers text messages and calls.
5. When he starts being malikot, make it a habit to put cloth diaper on his back to absorb sweat. 
6. When he starts crawling and rolling over, better to put the bed cushion down. Never mind the bed frame no matter how expensive it is.
7. We've also surrounded the walls with rubber puzzle mats to avoid bumps.
8. Don't cut his nails right away. Press the nail cutter first against his nails, if he does not have a violent reaction then you may go ahead with the cutting.
9. Learn and be brave to give your baby his first bath at home. It will make you very proud as a first time mom.
10. Burp!!! It's important for the baby to burp every after feeding especially when bottle fed. Let him burp in between when bottle feeding if necessary.
11. At night, when the baby is already few months old, use only a lamp. That way, he'll know that it's still night time when he wakes up and he'll go back to sleep again.
12. For his first foods, don't give him those that are too malasa and malinamnam yet. That will make him a pihikan. Gerber is a NO-NO "daw". Cerelac, according to our Pedia, is ok because it is milk based.

13. Don't hesitate to ask questions (even if you think it's silly) from other mommies. That will take away your worries.
14. Teach Allan to change diapers and other stuff. You'll need as much help as possible from him.
15. Enjoy every moment, Ang bilis kasi nila lumaki. You wouldn't want to miss anything.
16. Register in www.babycenter.com. They give week per week advices, baby development, etc.
17. Don't spend on too much clothes (especially shoes) at the same time because they grow very fast.
18. Don't buy things right away if his baptism, birthday, or Christmas is already near. Malay mo may magbigay naman as a gift nung kailangan mo. :)
19. Use the money that the baby will get as a gift to buy important things/matters. In our case, we bought him insurance.
20. Allow yaya or whoever that’s also taking care of the baby to go inside the pedia’s clinic during check ups so she’ll get informed as well.
21. If there are times that you can’t go with your baby during check ups, write your questions for the pedia. Ask the pedia to write also his / her answers.
22. Write all your “bilins” to the yaya in a piece of paper (e.g. dosage of vitamins). I do this especially when my baby is sick and I really have to be in the office.
23. “Down there” will be very painful (in my case it was 2 weeks). Eat papaya or prunes days before and after giving birth to avoid constipation. Wash it with lukewarm water. I also tried washing it with nilagang dahon ng bayabas. I think it helped (but it’s your choice). Bleeding will also take weeks (1 month ata in my case).
24. Always iron his clothes, bib, cloth diapers, etc.
25. Don’t’ buy too expensive toys. Itatapon lang nya yun.


From me:

1. Breastfeeding is natural but it’s not always easy. Persevere in your breastfeeding – it is a mindset. Think milk, milk, milk and the milk will flow.
2. Your milk will come on the 3rd to 5th day after giving birth. So the first few days your baby is drinking your colostrum. When he cries, don't think that he’s still hungry and then give him formula. That's not true. New born babies are not yet hungry when they come out.
3. List, list, list – you’ll find yourself being forgetful after giving birth. 
4. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed when the baby won’t stop crying after you did everything you need to do. Sometimes you’ll find yourself crying, too. Just let it all out and cry with your baby. 
5. Sometimes, too, babies cry just because they want to. They’re not hungry, they’re not wet, they’re not sleepy. They just want to cry.
6. Pump milk weeks before going back to work to build up your milk supply. 
7. When you get back to work, leave a used item of clothing with the baby just so he’ll still smell you and think that you’re around. He will miss your scent when you leave him for work. This way, it will be easier for him to be away from you.
8. If in case the time comes that your baby will prefer the yaya, don’t be jealous and always remember you are the mother. Yaya’s will come and go, but he will always have you.
9. Pray for your baby.
10. Remember: you are first a wife, a mother second. It’s easy to neglect Allan after the baby comes but after you’ve settled, try to set weekly dates to keep the fire burning.
11. If you give birth the normal way through the V, it will be painful to have sex for the first time. I don’t care what your OB says that it’s okay to have sex after 6 weeks. It’s painful hahaha! Use KY jelly *wink wink*
12. It’s the digital age but try to have your baby’s photos printed out – photos or photobooks.
13. Sing to your baby. Sing when he’s fussy, sing while you’re breastfeeding, sing him to sleep, sing to him when he’s awake. It doesn’t matter if you’re out of tune or not, he will remember your voice.
14. Comfort and carry your baby when he cries – don’t care if the old folks tell you dahil masasanay magpabuhat ang baby. That’s not true – comfort your baby whenever he needs you.  
15.  Breastfeed on demand. Don’t count the number of hours in between feeding and the number of minutes per feeding. Breastfeed baby when he’s hungry. This will make you feel like a human cow but it’s definitely worth it.
16. Swaddle your baby. It will keep him feel comforted and sleep better because he will feel like he’s still inside your tummy.
17. Put mittens on your baby so that he will not scratch his face with his fingernails.
18. Diaper rash is usual in babies. Don’t panic! Just use a good diaper rash cream to treat it.
19. On your first menstrual cycle after giving birth, the discharge will be heavier than usual and longer, say a week if your usual is 3 days only. Drink iron supplements during your period. Your first period will be months after giving birth.
20. Breastfeeding is a natural contraceptive especially during the first 6 months if exclusively breastfeeding.
21. Call your pediatrician if you worry about your baby. Don’t be shy to call even if it’s the middle of the night. It’s their job to answer your call. Aside from their cellphone number, get their residential number as well.
22. Give your hubby and baby their own time to bond together.
23. Don’t buy too many toys. You’ll be surprised that your baby will enjoy the most common household items like the remote control.
24. Read to your baby. During the first few months buy soft cloth books that he can play with and bite. Use these until you transition to board books.
25. As working moms, we should not feel guilty that we have to go to work and leave our baby at home. Spend quality time with your baby when you’re at home. Quality trumps quantity.


Hope this helps you, Mommy!


Day 29 of 30 (x2)


Thursday, June 07, 2012

Expression Room


I have to admit that one of the reasons my breastfeeding journey has been this long and is still continuing is because we have a milk expression room here at our office where I can pump and store milk while I’m away from my baby. I am very fortunate that the institution  I work for acknowledge the importance of sustaining breastfeeding as long as possible. Let me share with you how our expression room is set up.

The room has a sink where we can wash our bottles and pump parts. They have also provided us an airpot for hot water to sterilize our pump parts and a small ref to store our milk. In between pumping sessions, we usually leave our pump parts and breastpumps in the room. It's more convenient for us this way instead of going back and forth to our workstation and the expression room with all our breastpump paraphernalia.


There are two seats for Mommies to pump comfortably. But since a lot of moms are already using this room, sometimes we have 3 of 4 moms cramped in this area. Some are seating on the floor while some prefer to use an additional chair a mommy has brought for use.

That's my pump and my water tumbler. I drink water when expressing milk. I find that I letdown easily when I drink water.

Two chairs inside the room with extension cords for other moms using the room
The room is also decorated with paintings of mother and child.

I'm in love with everything "mother-and-child" after being a mother myself.

Aside from this expression room, we also have a nursing room in the building. We can also express milk in that room – it is equipped with chairs for moms and a ref where we can store our milk. Unfortunately, there is no sink and airpot in that room. So I still prefer using the expression room even if a lot of us are already using it.

This is why I’m really against that new bill that will change the existing Milk Code. It will remove the 40 minute paid lactation breaks for working mothers! If you haven't signed the petition, please sign up here.

Day 28 of 30 (x2)

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Ernie and Bert

Yesterday on our way to work, hubby and I were listening to The Morning Rush. Their top 10 was top 10 tweets of cartoon characters. I think one of the entry was about Tweetie Bird and they discussed that Tweetie Bird is a male but he acts like a little girl. And then the conversation went to Ernie and Bert, I think. And that if they are gay. I don't even really remember. I just remember Chico saying that they are roommates and just close friends. Joema violently reacted, "Magkapatid! Di ba magkapatid sila? Akala ko magkapatid sila!" Joema couldn't believe what he was hearing. I was laughing so hard! I don't know if you can imagine his reaction. Imagine a little boy who suddenly was told Santa Claus was not real when he thought Santa was real. That's him yesterday! It was so funny! I was laughing my ass off in the car!

I love this...here fishy, fishy, fishy!




Day 27 of 30 (x2)

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Plan A Trip


Wow, it seems that I’ll be able to finish this 30 day challenge after all although I’ve cheated a few times (posted 3 blogs in one day but ante-dated the entries hahahaha!).. Only a few days left. For today, I want to tackle an entry that a friend of mine suggested I do for this challenge. Edz suggested that I do a travel planning entry. She’s currently booked to go on a SE Asian tour before the end of the year.

First thing to consider of course is your budget. How much are you planning to shell out for your trip. Then you break it down to your major expenses – plane fare, hotel, tours, food, pasalubong, etc.

Plane Fare 

I am subscribed by email to almost all the low budget cost airline traversing the Philippines – Cebu Pacific, Air Philippines, Jet Star, PAL, Air Asia, Tiger. This way, I’ll immediately know if there are seat sales. If you have a twitter account, follow them too. They sometime tweet first before sending out the email alerts of their seat sale. Always compare plane fares before finalizing your booking. When I book, I don’t pay for extra baggage. 10kilos is enough for me especially if we’re travelling in a group because when you check-in you actually add up your baggage allowance. I also opt not to choose the seats online as this will cost us extra, just check-in early at the counters or do the online check-in. I also don’t buy travel insurance from the airline. I only want to pay for my fare and the taxes associated with it.

Hotel 

Now this is one of the exciting parts of researching before you travel. As I mentioned, this will depend on your budget. This will also depend on what your vacation is for. Do you want to shop till you drop or do you want to just stay in your hotel, sleep in and eat. Of course, if you want to shop and tour around and just use your room to sleep in, then you can opt to get cheaper hotels with all the basic necessities that you need. No need to book at a posh hotel. But when you want to stay in the hotel, then you may want to stay in a really nice one to fully enjoy your vacation. Take for instance my two trips to Kota Kinabalu. On my first trip, I was with Joema and a bunch of our adventurous friends. We stayed in a relatively cheap but clean and centrally located hostel. We only stayed there during the night when we’re about to sleep anyway. For my second trip, I was with a friend who wanted to just relax and chill. So we opted to stay at a 5-star hotel and basically just stayed there and enjoyed the hotel’s amenities. Booking a hotel is sometimes tricky because there are websites where they offer deals for different hotels or you can book the hotel directly through the hotel’s website. Again, compare the prices and book with the cheaper one. But I must say, I always book directly with the hotel simply because I’m more confident on booking with them. Although, I have friends who have already tried Agoda or Hotels when booking their hotels. So it is also farely safe to go that route.

Another thing to consider in booking the hotel is the location. As they say, location, location, location. For hotel reviews, I usually go to Tripadvisor for reviews of actual people who already went to the hotel. And you can also view the photos of the hotel. You know there are times when the hotel’s websites have very good photos and then when you look at photos not taken by professionals you’re simply disappointed at the place? So that’s what I do. Of course, when reading reviews, you must take everything with a grain of salt. I find that some people have high expectations from their hotels so they sometimes post negative reviews on the hotel. While the others are relatively saying good things about the hotel. Take into consideration, what that person is complaining about the hotel. If they’re complaining that the space is too small, maybe because he’s a Caucasian while you’re a petite Asian then you can probably let go of that bad review.

Reading other people’s blogs may also help. If I find a certain hotel that I like, I google the hotel for reviews from other bloggers. I basically get a sense if I really like the hotel or not.

On our recent trip to HK we stayed in an apartment rental. This is cheaper than a hotel and you get to live like a local. We booked our apartment via Airbnb. Just check the location of the apartment if it's convenient to travel to and from. Our apartment in HK is located in Central and very near the MTR stations. Another site that offers vacation rentals is Roomarama


Tours/ Activities/Food

If you go to a tourist friendly place then this is very easy to research on. Like HK they have their discover hong kong website which is very informative. You can actually plan your whole trip in that website. But if you’re going into a relatively new place and not familiar with the place, then you can opt for tour packages. You can also search Lonely Planet’s website for activities and places to see in the area. I usually borrow a Lonely Planet guide from our library before our trip to read on and research on the place we’re going to visit. Again, this will depend on what you want to do on your vacation. Do you want to see everything touristy, do you want go on a cultural trip, do you want to go on a gastronomic trip. Really depends on your priorities for your vacation. Aside from Lonely Planet, I also go use VirtualTourist for research. They have travel guides, hotel reviews, you can even post questions in their forum. 

As with the hotel, I read other people’s blogs for references on what to do when we travel. But when I’m travelling with my family and it’s our first time going to a place, sometimes we opt to get a package tour like what we did when we went to Korea. I was not confident enough to be their guide there and I don’t want to stress about our itinerary and basically enjoy the trip as well. So we opted to get package tours. But next time we visit, I plan to just wing it haha. I have a few friends who already went there that I can ask about what to see and how to go there. That’s another source of information, friends who already went to the place you’re going to visit. Ask ask ask. When my family went to Vietnam without us (I was pregnant then), I asked a friend to email me where they can eat and the places they need to visit. I printed that email and lent them a Lonely Planet guide and off they went. Thank God, they’re trip was a success! 

I always keep an Excel file of all these things with all the links from the websites. I think using Pinterest when planning a trip can also be convenient. You just pin everything you think you'll need in your research and there you go. I think this basically covers the essential of planning a trip. Other things you need to consider - visa requirement, weather, transportation, electrical outlet. These are all covered in Lonely Planet's guide books. They are really helpful!

Day 26 of 30 (x2)

Monday, June 04, 2012

New House Bill That Will Change the Milk Code

A new bill is authored by these Congressmen, representatives Magtanggol Gunigundo, Josephine Veronique Lacson-Noel, Anna York Bondoc M.D. and Lani Mercado-Revilla that will change the existing Milk Code. I'll copy and paste this article by Atty. Rita Linda V. Jimeno which explains the changes that will happen.

An alarming House bill


Filipino mothers are barely becoming more aware that nothing beats breast milk but already, four representatives in the House sponsored a consolidated bill that, if passed into law, would effectively set back the gains achieved in the campaign for exclusive breastfeeding. The House bill, ironically authored by three women and one male representative, contains provisions that would substantially change the contents of the existing Milk Code (Executive Order 51) and the Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act of 2009 (Republic Act 10028).


Sad, because even with the existence of these two laws which encourage lactating mothers to breastfeed, implementation has been tough. And why not? The makers of infant formula and breast milk substitutes have continued to glamorize the use of breast milk substitutes and continued launching promotional gimmicks that entice mothers to use infant formula. Thus, lactating mothers, especially those with lower educational attainments, are drawn toward favoring the use of powdered milk formula more than their own breast milk. If the draft House bill entitled “An Act Promoting a Comprehensive Program on Breastfeeding Practices and Regulating the Trade, Marketing and Promotions of Certain foods for infants and Children” is legislated,  it will surely weaken our country’s breastfeeding laws to levels preceding the years before the Milk Code was passed in 1986.  Without doubt, the health, well-being and intellectual development of children will be compromised.


What are the features of the draft bill that will effectively shoot down the salient provisions of the Milk Code and the Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act of 2009?


First, it will narrow down the application of the Milk Code. While the Milk Code provides that artificial baby foods, such as infant formula, should not be used for babies aged 0 to 36 months, the draft House Bill limited the application of the law to infants aged 0 to six months only.


Second, the draft bill lifted the restriction on donations of artificial milk products in emergency situations. Thus, mothers who suffer from disabilities would be encouraged to shift to milk substitutes instead of being encouraged to continue breastfeeding assisted by support persons.


Third, while lactating mothers used to be entitled to lactation breaks for a total of 40 minutes in an eight-hour-work period, with pay, under the bill, lactation breaks will no longer be paid.


Fourth, milk companies will now be allowed, once again, to give away free samples of artificial milk products in the health care system. The irony of it is that those who are most hard-up will take this as a symbol of class and stature. Hence, they would, most likely, continue to feed their babies with formula rather than breastfeed. I have seen not a few minimum wage earners or farm workers grappling with the high cost of milk formula to feed their babies. Some would often borrow money to buy milk. When I asked why they were not breastfeeding, their answer was incoherent. I suspect they believed it was the right thing to do considering the advertising tack of milk formula makers.


Fifth, the dual language (English and Filipino) of the literature in milk cans and boxes will be removed.  The literature explains that breast milk is superior to artificial milk products and cites the dangers of formula feeding.


Finally, the bill also allows milk formula manufacturers to get involved in educational activities and the production of materials relating to breastfeeding, infant and young child care and nutrition. Can we expect milk manufacturers to relegate their profit motive and survival in the market, to the background? Not in our wildest dreams.


Scientific research has conclusively shown that artificial milk formula can never equal breast milk in nutritional and health benefits. Breast milk has all the essential vitamins and nutrients needed by a baby. It has natural antibodies and amino acids that help reduce the occurrence of ear and respiratory infections, diarrhea, meningitis, asthma, obesity and the sudden death syndrome. There has also been consistent evidence that feeding with artificial milk formula results in increased neo-natal and child mortality; poorer growth and nutrition status; lower scores in cognitive development and intelligence tests; and increased risk of later chronic diseases such as heart ailments, diabetes and some cancers. Bonding between mother and child is also hampered.


On the part of the mother, breastfeeding will allow her to get back to her pre-pregnancy shape as she burns calories and loses fat while breastfeeding. Her uterus also gets back to normal more quickly when she breastfeeds.


Nature has provided for both an infant’s and its mother’s needs. To top it off, it is for free. What are the four authors of the pending House bill thinking? And whose side are they on: the infants and their mothers or the makers of milk formula?




+++++


To stop this horrible bill, please sign this petition. Please, please, please click on the link and sign the petition! And please re-blog and urge your readers to sign the petition.

Day 25 of 30 (x2)

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Girls Night Out


We had our “unusual” girls nightout last Friday. I say unusual because we don’t really go out, just us girls. We usually meet up together with our husbands and kids, aside from Ja who’s still single.

We should actually do this more often. Ever since I gave birth, I haven’t really had a “me” time. I’m usually attached to my baby as she is still breastfeeding. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy breastfeeding her. But to keep me sane, I also need those times that I have to be away from her. These night outs are the best for that. As they say, happy mommy, happy baby and happy wife, happy life.

We had dinner at Persian Grill

Night cap with some coffee and cake. No booze hahaha!

I miss these times that I get to go out and just have dinner with friends. Although this time around, I keep on looking at my watch and thinking if my baby has fallen asleep already haha. Mother’s instinct kicks in every once in a while. And I think, old age kicks in too. We were all a bit sleep by the time we went our separate ways and this was only past 11pm hahaha. Mommy mode ON.

Day 24 of 30 (x2)

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Photobook


One other thing I bought from these groupon sites are vouchers from Photobook. I’ve really been wanting to have our photos printed in a photo book style. I’ve asked around for quotations from photo developing shops and other photobook publishing kiosks I see in the malls. So the deal from Metrodeal for a P1,000 voucher for a P4,000 worth of photobook was definitely tempting to me. So I bought several vouchers hehehe and I immediately knew what I wanted for each of those photobooks. I ordered one before Christmas as our Christmas gifts for my parents – basically a compilation of Miya’s photos with us, with them and Miya’s great grandparents. And then the others I waited after Miya’s birthday, so we have one for her birthday celebrations, another one for our HK trip. I also had one made as her baby book with her birth story and all her firsts and milestones during her first year. One last book I ordered is for our honeymoon. I never had any of our photos printed out so I thought this was the best way to remember these special moments in our lives. Miya’s baby book we decided, we wanted to give to her as  birthday gift when she turns 5 or 7.

Now for the technical side, you just need to download the special software of Photobooks from their website. I also downloaded their Readybooks. These ready books are life savers because you just simply drag and drop your photos and voila, you have an instant scrapbook! What I do is I sometimes change the arrangement of the pages of the ready books that I download depending on how I want the photobook to tell its story to the readers or how I want each page to hold a number of photos. After you finalize your layout, you can simply upload your order. You need internet connection when you upload your order because the software uploads it per page per photo. One time I had a problem with the laptop I’m using, so I thought of transferring the folder I have in my laptop to another computer. Unfortunately, I had to re-do everything, it doesn’t really save the entire photobook I made. So note that you have to do everything in one laptop/desktop from downloading the software, to doing the photobook, to uploading your order.

Their customer service is also superb. Whenever I have questions, I only leave a message on their FB page and I’m sure to get a reply within 24 hours. They also reply to messages left through their website. They send an email advice with a ticket number regarding your concern and then their customer support will email you. I experienced this because I had problems uploading my order one time.

For the waiting time, I think I never had to wait for more than 7 days from ordering to receiving the final finished product. Thank God, I haven't encountered any problemas with the finished photobook. My tip is always use clear photos. For some of our photobooks, I used photos that are sometimes not to bright or the lighting is not enough, the photos turned out to be dark when printed out. That's my fault and not their fault in the printing stage. And I don't really want to stress about sending it back to them to have it reprinted haha. 

So this is the finish product of Miya’s First Birthday Photobook.

The photobook is delivered by DHL from Malaysia and comes in this cardboard box. Et voila!

The left topmost photo is the cover of our photobook with the succeeding pages on its bottom and right side. Most readybooks are 40pages and more.

Page 23 of 30 (x2)



Friday, June 01, 2012

Bonding with Miya

Hubby and I talked about how we should have our one-on-one bonding moments with our little girl. It's easier for me and Miya since we're both girls and we're breastfeeding. We're almost always constantly together when we're at home. So when hubby and Miya finds time to be together, I just let them be and watch them.

One of their bonding moments is playing the computer. My hubby loves playing PC games. He has influenced our little girl to play with him. There was this one time when I was already asleep and they were still playing - that is, Miya sitting on his lap while he's playing in the computer. Well that is until Miya got bored with what they're doing and started pulling the keyboard. Here's a photo of the little girl having so much fun with her daddy.

Look Mommy I know how to play Daddy's war strategy games

Day 22 of 30 (x2)

A Love Letter to the Father of My Children

Dear Honey, Yesterday was Father's Day but I don't think any celebration is enough to celebrate how good a father you are to our k...